For over 7 years now, the Birthplace has been involved in Yawata City, Japan’s Tanabata Festival. It based on a myth about 2 stars that appear on either side of the Milky Way in the summer sky. Orihimi (Vega) and Hikoboshi (Altair) were lovers who neglected their work to be together. Orihimi’s father, the sky god Tentai, forbid them to see each other except for one day of the year. The festival, dedicated to remembering the two lovers, is celebrated all over Japan and in China. Since the heart of the festival celebrates the lovers’ wish to be together, wishes are written on wide strips of paper and hung on the branches of bamboo trees as the main feature of the festival. Where does Mr. Edison come in? For about 10 years Edison brought bamboo from the mountain above Yawata City for his light bulbs. He is very revered in Japan and there is a monument to him on the mountain. The city of Milan is a sister city to Yawata City and has been since the early 1980’s, when a Japanese businessman, Saburo Tatemoto established the Kyoto Otokoyama Edison Association and reached out to Milan and the Birthplace. Many happy exchanges of people and gifts have been made over the years, especially artwork from the elementary school in Milan and the children of Yatawa City. This year the Birthplace, Milan school children and the mayor and children of Yawata City are going to try a SKYPE session by computer during the festival! This is a first!